Aug 5, 2012 6:00pm PDT
last second decisions on its own. with no help from the engineers at j.p.l. >> as far as the amount of control that the team has during entry, descent and landing, it's identical to the control that anybody watching at home has. we're all along for the ride. >> reporter: scientists can only watch as the last seven minutes of this ambitious mission determines the outcome says cbs news space analyst bill harwell. >> if it is a success it will be one of the great scientific triumphs of the space-age and if it fails i think it could be a setback for interplanetary exploration. >> reporter: the mission is to search for evidence that mars once could support life, an exploration that is expected to last two years. >> glor: what kind of tools and equipment does the rover have? >> well, it begins with the mask there that has a number of cameras on it to capture detailed panoramic images of regard mars as you have never seen before. other than that it is equipped to do what a human geologist would do on mars. pick up samples of rock and soil and then run them through an onboard laboratory to
Aug 22, 2012 12:00pm PDT
. >> does it say chad myers was here? >> yes, it does. it says j.p.l. in morse code. jet propulsion laboratory. in case someone was looking at mars they could read j.p.l. >> morse code on the green monster at fenway. now on the tires of the mars curiosity rover. >> cool picture. >> quickly while i have you, 60 seconds, i know there are 16 different drivers, how exactly do they drive it? >> actually, they send a bunch of commands to the curiosity at one time. then curiosity does all the things itself. the 16 drivers are all going to be on shifts. this thing doesn't go very fast, doesn't go very far. you understand you don't want to drive a $2.5 billion vehicle into a giant martian pothole. you don't want to lose it right
Aug 5, 2012 8:00am PDT
of people out here at jpl about the prospect of putting curiosity down at this location and about the pictures and ideas that will come back right away. take a listen to what they said. >> there's a lot of intellectual investment. the team has developed a truly fantastic, novel architecture that is the product of our imagination. it is exactly what we think it should be. so we are all in on this. >> reporter: they are definitely all in, and we can give you kind of a close up look of what curiosity pretty much looks like. this is obviously not curiosity itself, it's a model. it gives you an idea. about the size of an suv, and the technology on this, kelly, is unbelievable. >> as you've heard, they're all in, and if all goes well, what will this rover be doing when it actually it was down? >> reporter: well, you can get an idea. we have animation but also from ththe --live look as well. this rover -- the best way to put it. if you've been to the grand canyon or seen pictures, you've seen stripes of rock going all the way down the canyon. each one of those stripes is a slice of life.